Luna Li

PhD Candidate
Luna Li photo
Dissertation Title
Datafied Creativity: Protecting Creative Workers’ Data Ownership Rights in the Artificial Intelligence Era

I am a PhD student at Osgoode Hall Law School and a lawyer in Ontario, Canada. My research interests include technology (AI, blockchain, “DAO") and employment & labour law, algorithmic management, platform economy, human rights, etc.

I hold a Juris Doctor’s degree from Osgoode, a Master of Industrial Relations and Human Resources from University of Toronto, and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Wuhan University (China).

Prior to my commitment to an academic career, I worked two years at a leading employment law firm in Toronto, two years at legal clinics including a government agency, and three years in human resources roles (including workforce analytics in the tech industry) with CHRP designation.


The 2023 Hollywood labour strikes have highlighted substantial concerns regarding how Artificial Intelligence (AI) might compromise workers’ economic and moral interests related to their creative works and digital replicas. As AI integration deepens, creative workers’ outputs (ranging from written works to recorded performances) and unique digital replicas (including personal elements like writing style, likeness, and voice) can be datafied and shared via the cloud. These workers’ creative and personal data may be used by employers to train and instruct generative AI (“GAI”) models, which, in turn, could generate synthetic content for commercial use without the original creator’s consent. This paradox presents a situation in which creative professionals are potentially aiding in developing their replacements, compromising not only their future earnings but also their authority over their digital identities.

My research employs a comparative legal index, supported by empirical evidence across selected jurisdictions in the European Union and North America, to evaluate multiple legal categories, including employment and labour law, intellectual property law, and privacy law. I propose a novel data ownership right rooted in Canadian industrial relations and copyright frameworks. This study assesses the impact of these rights within the labour market, contrasting with the typical focus on the goods market. Further, this research examines the feasibility of applying data ownership concepts in practice through employee ownership and corporate profit-sharing models.

In summary, I propose a suis generis data ownership right within the workplace context with a bottom-up collective participatory approach. As GAI continues to expand its impact into various sectors, its research implications could potentially apply to workers in broader creative and knowledge industries.